Factor

Washington voters defeat another levy on emissions of CO2

viernes, 09 de noviembre de 2018 | Trading

Large among losers in US midterm elections Nov. 6 is the assertion that Americans yearn to let others spend their money in response to climate change.

They don’t. If anything is to be done about climate change, politicians must quit pretending otherwise.

The latest test came in the environmentally sensitive state of Washington.

There, Ballot Initiative 1631 proposed a fee on emissions of carbon dioxide starting at the rate of $15/ton in 2020 and rising by $2/ton/year until the state met its emission goals.

The fee—not a tax, according to state law—would have applied to large emitters based on the CO2 content of fossil fuels sold or used in Washington and electricity generated or used in the state.

Receipts would have funded air-quality and energy programs, water-quality and forest-health projects, and community initiatives.

Initiative 1631’s defeat is not the first demonstration of Washington voters’ collective ability to spot a bad deal when they see one. A carbon-levy initiative failed in 2016. And carbon-tax legislation failed earlier this year.

Clearly, most voting Washingtonians care more about the affordability of energy than the climate leadership propounded by liberal politicians.

If Initiative 1631 had passed, Washington would have become the first state in the union with a fee on CO2.

Environmental groups, therefore, watched the vote hopefully.

Outside the noisy chambers of activism, though, climate change was a dead issue in the November elections.

Sure, liberal politicians made the usual claims about how climate change represents the gravest threat to humanity, and all that.

And in the next session of Congress, Democrats newly in control of the House will point anxiously to arbitrary temperature targets and preach about the need for sacrifice.

But in a country not alarmed enough about climate change to channel money to energy boondoggles, all they’ll achieve is a cultish aura of moral superiority.

Maybe that—rather than climate policies able to win popular acceptability and then, perhaps, to work—has been the point all along.

 

 

 

Source: Oil & Gas Journal